The Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) announces Building Healing Communities: Conversations on Mental Health, Resilience, and Equity, a 4-day virtual community conference.
COVID has been difficult for our community. More than 40% of all adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. People of color – who have experienced disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths – and people experiencing mental illness have been more deeply affected than others. The social, emotional, and mental well-being of young people has also been impacted by the pandemic. Nationwide, health-related visits for children aged 5–11 and 12–17 years increased approximately 24% and 31%, respectively.
Despite the difficulties, our community remains strong. Neighbors connect, offer and seek support, and help one another heal. Most importantly, Arlingtonians found strength and resilience within themselves.
Connecting with others during challenging times is the foundation of Building Healing Communities. The Department of Human Services’ Child and Family Services Division welcomes everyone to take part in our Conversations on Mental Health, Resilience and Equity.
The free, four-day virtual community conference — offered with simultaneous Spanish translation throughout — kicks off on Thursday, May 20 at 6 p.m. with a symposium featuring Dr. Alfiee Breeland-Noble, Arlington parent and founder and director of The AAKOMA Project; followed by a co-presentation by Samia Byrd, Chief Race and Equity Officer for Arlington County and Arron Gregory, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for Arlington Public Schools. The symposium will wrap up with a panel of community members who will share their triumphs and challenges during COVID-19.
The following week (May 24-May 26) will feature three evenings of workshops (two workshop options each evening) designed to help the community better understand specific opportunities and challenges, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Monday May 24 will feature two sessions on the intersection of race, equity, and mental health: Mental Health in the BIPOC Community and a Discussion on Privilege and Bias.
- Younger community members will be the focus on Tuesday May 25, with workshops on Supporting Resilience and Emotional Wellbeing in Infants and Toddlers and Mental Health Stigma Amongst Youth.
- Wednesday May 26 will offer options for healing and wellness, with sessions on Restorative Yoga and on Trauma, Stress, and Connection.
Details on specific sessions and presenters are on the Building Healing Communities event website.
Registration is required and is open to everyone!
For more information, contact Linh Nghe, Director of Prevention, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-228-1528.